Beyond the Deep Woods by Paul Stewart
Beyond the Deepwoods is the start to the long-running Edge Chronicles. This first book does what one would expect, introduces the world, the major characters, and the major conflicts, but it does so in such shallow fashion that one might be hard-pressed to consider reading on. I don't know how the rest of the series goes, but I can say that the second novel, Stormchaser, improves in many ways upon the first.
Beyond the Deepwoods, aimed obviously at a younger audience, is highly episodic, following the breakneck adventures of Twig, a young boy brought up until now by a family of trolls, as he is sent out into the woods to avoid being picked up by Skypirates. As mentioned, the book moves at breakneck speed as Twig is rushed from one crisis to ano... Read More
Paul Stewart(1955- )
Paul Stewart also writes adventures and horror for children. Most of his books are illustrated by Chris Riddell. The Edge Chronicles website.
The Edge Chronicles — (1998- ) Ages 9-12. Publisher: Young Twig lives in the Deepwoods, among the Woodtrolls, but he isn’t one of them. In a brave attempt to find out where he belongs, Twig wanders into the mysterious, dangerous world beyond the Deepwoods. He meets a collection of odd companions, such as his wise guardian, the Caterbird; the Slaughterers, a peaceful race who butcher animals for their livelihood; and the vicious, bile-swilling Rotsucker. Always watching out for the horrible Gloamglozer, whose presence haunts the thoughts of all the inhabitants of The Edge, Twig steadfastly pursues his quest until he discovers his roots, not among the trees, but in the skies…
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Beyond the Deep Woods by Paul Stewart
Stormchaser by Paul Stewart
Stormchaser is the second book of the Edge series and it is a vast improvement over book one — Beyond the Deepwoods. The book picks up a few years after Twig's adventures in Beyond the Deepwoods. He is now sailing aboard the skyship of his recently-discovered sky-pirate father and has exchanged the monster-horrors of the Deepwoods with the more human horrors of city-life, pollution, and corruption (though monsters still make the occasional appearance).
Whereas Beyond the Deepwoods suffered from being overly episodic, plunging Twig into one-unrelated confrontation after another, Stormchaser is much more focused and has a much better sense of narrative. The famed sky city Sanctap... Read More
Midnight Over Sanctaphrax by Paul Stewart
Midnight Over Sanctaphrax falls into the middle of the first three books of the series. While Twig's character is enlarged upon and other interesting ones added, the book falls too easily into the same episodic nature of the first book, where one peril follows closely upon another with none of them ever explored in enough depth so that they truly feel dangerous or suspenseful. The nature of the basic plot, Twig searching for his lost crew after his skyship explodes and hurls them in different directions, also unfortunately lends itself to a sense of dull repetition as he searches, finds, sends off for safekeeping, and searches once again with the same results.
At times the plot of Midnight Over Sanctaphrax is somewhat contrived and at others may call for a bit too much suspension of disbelief, but overall it's imag... Read More
Free Lance — (2003-2005) Ages 9-12. Publisher: The first in a series of stories about the fantastical adventures of a mercenary knight by the best-selling creators of THE EDGE CHRONICLES Free Lance is down on his luck and stuck in the Badlands. And as usual there is an oaf who wants to take him on. But that fight leads to a job offer which has enough gold attached to it to get him out of this hole: the local lord wants him to recover an enchanted crown from the middle of the lake of skulls. Of course he omits to tell Free Lance of the terrors that await. Full of drama and humour, this swashbuckling fantasy adventure introduces a marvellous new hero by two of the leading exponents of the genre with an action hero who is both charismatic and mysterious, and told in a laconic, Marlowesque first person narrative. Certain to be enjoyed by all readers of THE EDGE CHRONICLES and Terry Pratchett, and those aspiring to read them. Part of a unique range of books aimed at 11+s that through innovative integration of text and illustration are also accessible to those with reading abilities of as young as 7.
Barnaby Grimes — (2007-2010) Ages 9-12. Publisher: Barnaby Grimes is a tick-tock lad, running errands in his city, day and night, and ‘high-stacking’ around the rooftops in search of new mysteries to solve. In this first adventure, Barnaby is attacked one night by an enormous dog. He kills it — but that’s not the end of this particular mystery… as Barnaby finds himself swept up in a world of crooked doctors, poor and ill-advised patients, strange tonics and very expensive furs… Could there be more to the seemingly respectable Dr Cadwallader and the tonics he doles out to the poor? Is there a link between the tonic and the huge dogs — or possibly wolves — that are roaming the city at night? When Barnaby’s old acquantaince Benjamin goes missing, Barnaby fears the worst for him, and decides to dig deeper…This features a fantastic romp through a Dickensian-style city, with a wonderful new hero in the guise of Barnaby. This new series from the bestselling dream team of Stewart and Riddell is a must for all fans of the “Edge Chronicles” — but also for fans of Horowitz and Shan, as they move into new territory and deliver a brilliantly exciting thriller-horror for boys.
Wyrmeweald — (2010-2013) Ages 9-12. Publisher: Seventeen-year-old Micah, enters the wyrmeweald full of hope to return home having made his fortune. But this is a land where wyrmes, fabulous dragon-like beasts, roam wild and reign supreme. In Wyrmeweald man is both hunter and hunted — and Micah may never return alive, let alone a hero… He soon finds a chance to prove his worth when he meets with Eli, a veteran tracker, and together they defend a rare whitewyrme egg and its precious hatchling. But the fledgling wyrme has its own guardian in the shape of the beautiful, brave and dangerous Thrace. Thrace and Micah should never mix — but the magnetism between them is strong. Together they join forces on a mission to rescue the hatchling — and seek vengeance for lost loved-ones. This is a truly immersive fantasy epic: full of thrilling, high octane action; powerful romance and a cast of credible, colourful characters.